MODERN Bulgarian Wines – The Story Continues!

Bulgarian wine wins with its unique character and genuine quality but only if sampled! Despite the increase of import its adoption in the trade is slow and painful. All consumer wine shows prove that it is liked by almost all yet the specialist trade continues resisting it.

Yes, we made wine 8000 years ago together with Georgia and Armenia! Yes, we still love wine and the ultimate show off in Bulgaria is to make your own winery. Not buy a yacht or a golf course.

Yes, we have a plethora of own local grape varieties but really excel in making immensely drinkable Merlot, Cabernet and lately Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay! Red wine is still more popular but whites are advancing and now many vineyards boast with Pinot Gris, and Viognier.

Why Chenin Blanc has not caught up is beyond me. I’ll blame the Sauvignon Blanc craze!

So much have Bulgarian wines changed in the last 15 years since I started importing that a new Marketing platform Modern Wines of Bulgaria is evolving. Its first event is on the 1st November in the Bulgarian Embassy in London from 10.30 to 4.30pm. It will be a trade and press show only but I feel that a public paid tasting in the evening is needed for all who happen not to be trade or press but are already Bulgarian wine lovers. And they are many, I know!

No, it won’t be expensive! The other unbeatable feature of Bulgarian wine is that it is still modestly priced for the quality and character in the bottle! It seems to be the best kept secret despite Caroline Gilby's new book on the Wines from Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova. In fact, this is the first book written by a Master of Wine (MW) for Bulgaria. There are only about 400 MWs in the world at present and even they have not yet caught up with the new Bulgarian wine face.

Why only 400? Because the dedication required to pass the MW exam may be beyond the capacity of mere mortals. Only 'Vinpires' seem to succeed and I know it because I studied 2 years with no avail. At least now I know that I am not a Vinpire.

Yes, I did learn a lot. But mostly had fun. The greatest fun I’ve ever had in my last 20 years in the UK wine trade. The people I met, including my fellow MW wannabes, the vineyards I visited, the stories I heard and the wines I discovered definitely made my MW journey the best in my bucket list so far.

Ah yes, this Bulgarian wine tasting is also about the Grapes and Vineyards and the People and Stories that have made Bulgarian wine Modern again. Despite its 8000 old history!

Written by Vassil Rachkov — September 30, 2018


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